One summer evening last year, I was scrolling through my social media feed and came across a tweet by a prominent hometown journalist that stated simply: "this is actually happening right now". A video was linked and the curious side of me decided to take a breather from the rest of the noise and watch whatever was happening in real time. It turned out to be the Philando Castile Facebook Live video.
I couldn't quite comprehend what was going on and I wasn't entirely certain at first that what was happening before me wasn't a movie clip or some other form of staged "entertainment". I didn't want to believe I was watching someone get murdered right before my eyes. But it was real. Philando Castile's murder by the hands of a Minneapolis police officer was captured on film and broadcast to the world.
It happened just one day after the murder of another black man, Alton Sterling, also at the hands of a police officer in the United States of America. Amateur video of this was also shared with media. They weren't the only ones, of course; from inception, America's history is inseparable from racism. It is a country that touts rights and freedom for all, but erects invisible barriers to limit it for some.
Prior to today, the officers involved in the Alton Sterling shooting faced no charges. Despite there being video and eyewitness accounts.
Today, the police officer involved in the Philando Castile case was cleared of all charges. Despite there being video and eyewitness accounts.
This is an act of injustice. Nothing but systemic racism will be accepted by me as the reason this man died.
In skimming over the CNN.com homepage this evening, I notice that this is not the feature article but rather a subhead lost amidst all of Trump's many scandals. As I watch my nation's evening newscast, there is no mention of it at all. Granted I'm in Canada but if I can hear about Michael Phelps upcoming race against a shark, surely a verdict in a previously well-publicized, highly political, highly relevant story such as this one merits inclusion.
Unfortunately, for anyone black living in America that absence of coverage hangs as a "to be continued".